The Oracle

A single spark can ignite a fire.

Writing Prompt:

Your character consults an Oracle, what does s/he learn?


David watched the words flow from Anna’s lips, but couldn’t accept them, though he knew she was never wrong. He was willing to die, but not to lose someone so pure — a true innocent in all the chaos.

“In order to defeat Bathos, the blood of she who shares a name with the Virgin Mother must be shed.”

“Anna, that can’t be the answer. There must be some other way,” but even as the words spilled out, he knew he wasn’t talking to Anna. The fates spoke through her and the Oracle could only speak the truth.

“The Virgin Mother’s namesake must die for peace to return.” Anna’s voice remained flat and indifferent.

“I won’t kill her — not even for the peace of our people.”

Anna’s white eyes flickered and slowly turned from white to black. Her voice became shrill and painful to the ear. “If she lives, the land will become a desert — barren and cracked. Salem’s people will be enslaved and wish for death long before your breed is obliterated. The ground cries for blood and it will not be denied.” Her eyes closed. Her body seized and then went limp, leaving Anna looking broken on the floor.

David cursed. Once again, he consulted the Oracle and was only left with more questions, an example of why he hated following the old ways. He found the archaic systems to be more harmful than beneficial. He wished he had never sought out the advice of the fates. Now, he was left to choose between sacrificing someone he loved or allowing Salem’s people to become enslaved and eventually destroyed. A whole race gone. He couldn’t allow such a beautiful culture to fall into shadow, but he couldn’t bring himself to sacrifice someone so innocent. He struggled with this grim turn of fate. Glaring at Anna, still crumpled on the floor, he wished her dead. After all, the hateful words spat forth from her lips. At that moment, he would have no qualms about killing Anna instead. Surely an Oracle would be the greater sacrifice. As he stood fuming, the realization that Anna wasn’t recovering shook him from his anger. White foam oozed from her mouth and, through the slits, he could see her eyes changing from white to black to white to black in an infinite loop. David kneeled beside her, unsure of what to do. He laid a hand gently on her shoulder. Her body shot up on its feet, left shoulder pulled up next to her ear and arms dangling. Her head was cocked to the right, her chin pointing up to the left. Her black eyes were open wide. The shrill voice that emanated from her lips was louder than anything David had ever experienced.

“She must die. Only the blood of she who shares a name with the Virgin Mother can purify the land. The fates have spoken.”


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